Effect of the operating conditions on the anaerobic digestion of wheatgrass for chemicals and energy production

Igor M. O. Silva, Davide Dionisi* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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The aim of this study was to investigate anaerobic digestion of wheatgrass in the absence of hydrolytic pre-treatments. The effect of solids retention time (SRT) (1-64 d), inoculum acclimation (0-80 d acclimation), temperature (40-70 °C) and buffer capacity (20-200 mM phosphate buffer) on conversion of the feedstock, yield and composition of liquid-phase products (ethanol and short-chain organic acids, SCOAs) and COD removal was investigated in semi-continuous (intermittent feed) completely mixed reactors.

SRT had the most important effect on process performance. Biodegradation of the feedstock was favoured at high SRT, with 61 % removal of volatile suspended solids and 84 % removal of total carbohydrates at SRT 64 d. However, low yield of liquid-phase products was observed at high SRT because of strong methanogenic activity (57 % removal of the total COD). The highest yield of liquid-phase products was 20 % (COD basis) at SRT 8 d. Although high biodegradation of the feedstock was observed after long-term batch acclimation (30 and 80 d), once the digestion conditions were switched to semi-continuous at short SRT (2 d) the biodegradation of the feedstock decreased considerably. The best process performance was observed at 40 OC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-244
Number of pages12
JournalBiomass Conversion and Biorefinery
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • anaerobic digestion
  • carboxylates
  • lignocellulose
  • grass
  • biorefinery


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